The Philippines’ largest diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. has assured the administration and its customer base nationwide it would operate 24/7 its food manufacturing facilities even with the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which has disrupted food supplies and distribution on the Philippines’ main island despite assurances by the police and military food cargos will be allowed unimpeded at all checkpoints and choke points.
“As far as food supply is concerned, we have the capability to produce enough for everybody and deliver to supermarkets,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said in a statement on Monday, March 16.
“We will operate our food facilities 24/7. This isn’t about making profits. We have a responsibility to make sure that food is made available to as many people as possible,” the SMC top honcho pointed out.
Other major SMC businesses, such as fuels, through Petron Corp. and power generation, through SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., and tollways thru SMC Infrastructure will also continue to operate.
“We will provide essential services such as food, water, power, petrol products and beverages to everyone,” Ang assured.
At the same time, the SMC president said all its employees would continue to get paid despite the quarantine and any work disruption that causes absences and/or tardiness thru no fault of the workers.
Amid the shortage of alcohol sanitizers, SMC will also donate its own brand of disinfectant powder to local government units.
San Miguel intends to produce 70%-ethyl alcohol solutions at one of its facilities and distribute these for free to communities, Ang said.
“We have the means and capability to produce this, and make it available for free to LGUs and public hospitals. We are working on getting the necessary clearances from the relevant government agencies, to produce this for public use. We ask that they help expedite clearances,” he said.
The company’s spirits subsidiary, Ginebra San Miguel Inc., has begun the initial production of the alcohol over the weekend to use in its facilities and for thousands of employees.
“This is so our facilities and our own employees will not be taking away from the already limited supply that’s available to the public. Our main intention is to get this to our government and healthcare providers at the soonest possible time.” he added.
The company is donating to local government units its own brand of disinfectant powder, which is safe for humans and can easily be deployed as extra protection against the virus.
“While hand-washing is still the best defense, hand sanitizers with 70% alcohol can be your next best option where soap and water are not available,” Ang said.
Ramon Ang appealed to his countrymen to unite and help one another.
“It is our sense of duty and obligation, pagkakaisa and malasakit that will see us through these difficult times,” he pleaded.